Let’s Get Reel: Lady Bird

Lauren Toneatto ’21, Life & Style Columnist

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Some movies are meant to be seen with your mom; Lady Bird is one of them.

Starring Saoirse Ronan as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, and Laurie Metcalf as her mother, Lady Bird tells the story of a tough-love relationship between a mother and daughter amid college applications, first loves, musicals and Catholic school.

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a show stopper. Based loosely on her own life, the viewer travels back in time to 2002. Set in Sacramento, California, Lady Bird dreams of going to a college on the East Coast despite her mother’s refusal. This is just one of the many topics the two disagrees upon. In fact, the movie begins with the duo crying together in the car after finishing listening to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath on audiobook. This heartfelt moment quickly shifts to the pair arguing, which prompts Lady Bird to open her door and jump out of the moving car. As a result, Lady Bird wears a pink cast on her arm to match her dyed hair.

Full of wit, with a flare for the dramatics, Lady Bird is a character in a class all her own. Ronan shines as the 18 year old, cracking jokes as she eats the Church’s sacred Communion wafers alongside her best friend, Julie (Beanie Feldstein); but also consoling a friend whose struggling with his coming out just a few scenes later. Alongside Metcalf, the two actresses beautifully portray a relationship that is less than perfect but painfully real. Amongst fights, the struggles of losing a job and the aftermath of not getting into a top-choice school, love still lingers beneath it all, even though it seems completely buried at times. Metcalf impeccably portrays the struggles of being a mom who wants to give her family everything but the world has a different plan in store.

Despite my mom being able to say goodbye to me as she dropped me off to college, unlike Lady Bird’s, this movie still managed to pull at my personal heart strings. It’s one of those movies that every mother-daughter pair can see themselves in even if their daughter isn’t singing in the school musical or “accidentally” throwing out her teacher’s binder to improve her math grade. My mom felt the need to loudly say in the theater, “That’s like you and Samantha!” as Lady Bird and Julie danced together energetically as prom dates, while all the other couples slowed danced together. It’s moments like these that Lady Bird becomes more than just another teenage movie. It’s also particularly endearing when Lady Bird mentions Sarah Lawrence College and everyone in the theater chuckles around you because she’s questioning about the town you’re currently seeing the movie in.

If you’re looking for a Christmas present for your mom that’s more than just a cliché, it’s worth looking into buying Lady Bird tickets to see the movie together.  Plan a date together after months apart because of college. It’ll make a lot more memories than a store-bought pair of socks.

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